Spiderman Home-Coming, Or Spiderboy Home-Working

 

By Director Z / Tatenda Mbudzi

Disclaimer: the following reviews, opinions will be extremely biased. BUT also come from a place of empathy, as the writer is a writer/director actor, and no-one ever sets out to make bad film. In most cases. PLUS the author has worked at a bunch of Hollywood Studios long enough to understand, love and simultaneously hate the miracle of modern filmmaking.   

Came home! From like, the CIVIL WAR movie! Or should I say the CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, TV show – that ironically started to feel like a movie the moment SPIDERMAN was introduced.

Can we talk about feeling.? SPIDER MAN! He made the trailer for CIVIL WAR a historic moment –

BUT – I don’t think he made it home just yet. Not as SPIDER…..MAN

MILD to BLAZING RED HOT SPOILERS ahead. If you have not watched the SAM RAIMI, MARC WEBB, and who is the latest guy? (Ha – just kidding, but really, why can’t I recall his name. Hmmm. ) Jon Watts! Then shoot yourself in the foot.

 

Look, the movie was very enjoyable – I especially like the use of CINEMA VERITE, FOUND FOOTAGE style film technique to give a SNAP-CHAT-esque window into the AIRPORT FIGHT SCENE. I think this was added especially to make GENERATION Y and Z feel at “HOME”. (how many home puns can I use here, try me)

And I thought the rest of the film was OK.

Filmmaking is hard.

Why am I writing this article again?  Because I was expecting a proper re-launch into SPIDERMAN – because there was this hope that it would be done “right”. But it didn’t hit the mark for me. Tom Holland was great – finally, a teenager playing a teenager – never mind that he is a British Teenager, playing an American Teenager.

Did I say filmmaking is hard? It really is.

I just feel overall that this was really an episode of SPIDER BOY – and not SPIDERMAN – and you could say “Well Disney and Marvel are taking their time to establish the character”. Yes, you could say that. You could say it out loud as you read this. The fact remains – Young Spidey doesn’t really come into his own enough in this story.

What we are watching, is really a prolonged first act (dare I say PILOT EPISODE –ugh). We don’t get a sense of life or death level threat to Spiderman’s “world”. And yes, some have said, “Oh it’s nice that it’s a smaller story”. True, but it still has to feel life or death, the stakes have to be there….

It all just feels one step away from being as VISCERAL as it should be. It’s just a little too safe. There are great comedic moments of banter between characters, BUT, not enough of an engine to feel like the adventure as a whole matter.

This said – I really did love the ELEVATOR scene – finally, the prospect of DEATH makes an appearance! But still, this isn’t a direct result of the VILLAIN deliberately making things hard for Spiderman, so we I felt a little lackluster. “THAT’S COOL!” but it doesn’t say anything about the conflict between the two main characters. If VULTURE was a committed villain, wouldn’t he have risked endangering his daughters’ life to get what he wanted?

LIKE DOC OC! BAM!

I hate to agree with the popular consensus  – but. Screw it. (see what I did there)

DOC OC is currently the best villain in the EXTENDED/ADOPTED Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still. I mean, I can’t think of any others at the moment.

I mean, not to sound weird, but VISUALLY – he is a sexy villain. The animation of the arms was great  – and his desire for greatness led to the death of his WIFE. YAY! DEPTH!

I just don’t get that sense of depth from EL VULTURE.

I am a long time Spidey Fan, getting comics sporadically from the Kingstons bookstore in ZIM, and just gobbling them up, and drawing Spidey after John Romita Jr. I am not familiar with the VULTURE the way I know DOC OC.

DOC OC is the staple character of the CARTOON SPIDERMAN from the 90’s – so I am a little biased.

Still, when DOC OC hits the screen in SPIDERMAN 2 (2005) we see a morphed creature –inseparable from the appendages that make him what he is.

I do not see the same sort of HUBRIS or desire for power manifested as a result of the VULTURE WINGS. Now I’m not saying they needed to be burnt into Michael Keaton’s spinal column and nervous system by a malfunctioning AI chip (I mean the AI is a bit of s stretch) BUT – the VULTURE WINGS didn’t push the character of the VILLAIN to a dangerous enough MORAL high ground if you will. There was nothing TRANSFORMATIVE about the use of the Vulture wings.

If SPIDERMAN is about GREAT POWER, coming with GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. Then it is also about GREAT POWER coming with great CORRUPTION, and IRRESPONSIBILITY. I see that in DOC OC – and it is visually manifested which is why I find him to be such a satisfying villain to watch.  The arms are a character fused with DOC OC. Man, it’s pretty.

In Spiderman Home Coming – the POWER of the Chi-Tari weapons affects Michael Keatons character on a surface level – his soul is not touched. And it doesn’t have to be touched “supernaturally” – it could be classic greed, like in Breaking Bad. No Magic, just plain human, tragic – ness (that sorta rhymes). Instead, Keaton is almost too normal as a criminal; there is nothing mysterious about him. He isn’t a real challenge for Spiderman because he isn’t evil or vindictive enough from a moral standpoint. And because of this VULTURE cannot push SPIDERBOY into becoming SPIDERMAN. A hero is only as good as his villain someone once said. VULTURE doesn’t create a single TRULY challenging scenario for SPIDER-BOY to figure out his identity.

In fact, the main ANTAGONIST in this FILM is really IRON MAN…who takes away SPIDER BOY’S “unearned” power…How can IRON MAN be more of a bad guy, than the friggin BAD GUY!

In cultures all around the world- there is a RITE OF PASSAGE to becoming a man, great loss, great sacrifice. SPIDERBOY doesn’t have this happen in this movie, so he can’t really be called SPIDER-MAN. In fact, that’s a premature speculation. (See what I did there).

If they changed the title to SPIDER-BOY HOME-WORKING – the film would make more sense, because Peter Parker and his friend do a lot of homework together.

Yay diverse casting in this movie by the way!

Agree or Disagree? Tweet at me, and I’ll respond when the WIFI gods bless me

 

Tatenda Mbudzi is a filmmaker/comedian who rubs people the wrong way, or the right way (if the price is right)His first feature film Zim High comes out this year- stars Tatenda Mbudzi, and Rick Cosnett from The Flash.

Twitter: @ta10da instagram: tatendambudzi. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetatenda

New Music: Mushawarukwa The Mixtape

 


Born in the oldest high-density suburb of a city in the eastern high lands of Zimbabwe (a ghetto called Sakubva in the city of Mutare), Flexxo Mushawarukwa’s musical talent was discovered in a primary school choir. As he grew older and living in squalor he began to write poems that were inspired by the experiences that he faced in that area of town. He then felt that it wasn’t enough to just write and not share his heart, that’s when he chose to recite his poems in rap form on street corners.  Upon noticing that his influence was growing he then took it further by taking his poems to a make shift recording studio where he mixed his street corner raps with a rhythm and the rest was history.

Watch Ndakweiwa (Official Music Video) 

Hub Awards @ Shoko 2017 – $16 000 Worth Of Prizes | Applications Now Open

 

The Hub Awards @Shoko Festival will award 4 x $4 000 dollars worth of prizes and opportunities each to new cutting edge ideas that use new media and civic tech to solve problems in their community or at a national scale. The awards seek to empower the next generation of new media and tech startups. In the past, startups such as CulxureMag, Tipster, TV Yangu, Spiked and Bustop TV have benefitted from this initiative and bloomed into leading digital companies.

Deadline 17 August 2017 

Categories:

1. WOMEN RISING AWARD – An award given to a startup/organisation advocating for women’s rights & voice using new media & technology.

2. SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER AWARD – An award for a new media solution & platform encouraging accountability & dialogue (with local authorities, city council, local government & government)

3. YOUR VOICE AWARD – An award for the best upcoming individual blog, video blog or citizen journalism platform.

4. FIX UP, LOOK SHARP AWARD – An award for the best new media/ tech solution to address poor service delivery in communities.

Terms & Conditions

Participants can either be individuals or teams
Participants are allowed to submit one idea only
Participants must be residents of Zimbabwe
Participants must between the ages of 16 & 35 years old
Participants must be willing to participant in The Hub Awards Pitch competition at Shoko 2017
Must complete the application
The judge’s decision is final

Apply Here

The Hard Truth: We Are Behaving Like Drunk Monkeys

 

By Patson Dzamara

The earlier we accept the quintessential fact that ZANU PF is a mafia organisation, the better. Anyone who thinks ZANU PF is a competitor to anyone must be deeply engrossed in kindergarten hallucinations of a bygone era.

As we stare the watershed 2018 elections, let it be clear to all and sundry that ZANU PF does not compete with anyone. As in the past, they are going to employ all means necessary to ‘win’ the forth coming election, by hook or crook. In fact, they have already started.

Unless if something drastic happens and unless we take a resolute stand, ZANU PF will bulldoze its way to ‘victory’, of course, relying on its modus operandi premised on terror and deceit.

Sadly, their path to ‘victory’ will be paved with innocent blood. They will spill blood and they will kill anyone standing in their way. They have already started unleashing their demons of terror, the most recent exhibit is the burning of MDC-T Vice President Engineer Elias Mudzuri’s property last night. Just last week, an MDC-T vehicle was burnt.

What is next? They are going to burn us too. They are going to kill us. They are going to torture us. They are going to abduct us.

Zimbabweans, we can’t continue doddering nebulously like inebriated monkeys on this dangerous path. It’s either we are really going to stand up to ZANU PF’s austerity or we must just allow them to continue scornfully urinating on our heads. And yes, in silence, we must live with the stench and discomfort it comes along with.

After the abduction of my brother, Itai Dzamara, I was at times tempted to think that it was not worth the sacrifice but that is not true. What we can’t do is to fail to honor the sacrifices of individuals like Itai Dzamara, Tonderai Ndira and many others who took a staunch stand against ZANU PF’s morbidity. They were willing to make the necessary sacrifices and the best way to honor them is to retrace their footprints and follow their bold steps.

We must do away with our stupidity and an insatiable penchant for trivia which doesn’t mean a bag of sugar. Day in and day out our clueless and myopic opposition parties leaders tear their inner wear in a bid to outmaneuver each other in signing stupid and meaningless MoU’s. That is rubbish. Yes, that is rubbish. It stinks.

For as long as we are not going to stay our minds on the prize, let’s forget it and let’s just allow these ZANU PF hoodlums to lead this beautiful nation of ours to its abattoir. We can’t allow this level of mendacity, skulduggery, and tomfoolery to persist neither can we afford to have other people sacrifice even their lives just for a few miscreants to play with our lives while masquerading to be leading us against evil ZANU PF.

All opposition political leaders must quickly shape up or ship out. We are sick and tired of the buffoonery they are exhibiting. As young people, we respect them and we want to work together with them to dismantle this gang of terrorists called ZANU PF but their childish games are not getting us anywhere. They (we) must all unite and deal with ZANU PF.

I shudder to project becoming or any young person fighting for a better Zimbabwe becoming another Itai Dzamara or a Tonderai Ndira while some old men and women behave like drunk monkeys.

For what????

These games have to stop now. This stupidity has to stop now. We can’t take it anymore. We can, we will and we must decapitate the monster but we must be serious or else we shall all die for nothing.

God forbid, but if ever we fail to cross over into a better Zimbabwe in our lifetime, shame on us. Shame on these men and women with poverty stricken egos who are purportedly presiding over the transition to a better Zimbabwe but in the actual fact aiding and sustaining the dictatorship by their mendacity and stupidity.

Patson Dzamara is a leadership coach, author, political activist and analyst based in Zimbabwe.

Image Courtesy of Newstarget